DAILY BRIEF February 20: Ratification, negotiations, denial and social (in)justice

Bulgaria ratifies Protocol for membership of Republic of North Macedonia in NATO

 A total of 140 MPs from the Bulgaria Parliament voted in favor of the ratification. The President of the Macedonian Parliament, Talat Xhaferi, also attended the ratification.

Xhaferi expressed gratitude for the ratification and said that after many years of waiting, NATO has finally become a reality for us.

“I am convinced that with Bulgaria beside us, it is a strong guarantee that we as a state, but also the entire Balkan region, will move in the right direction that brings peace, stability, progress and prosperity. It is nice to have sincere friends, but the feeling is even better when they are our neighbors”, added Xhaferi.

Bulgaria is the fourth country to ratify the protocol. Previously, it received a green light in the parliaments in Greece, Slovenia and Albania. Once all the NATO member countries ratify the agreement, our country is expected to become the 30th member of the Alliance.

Negotiations for consensual presidential candidate continue

Following yesterday’s successful meetings of SDSM leader and Prime Minister, Zoran Zaev, with the leaders of DPA and Alternative, where they discussed about a joint candidate at the upcoming presidential elections, Zaev today has a meeting scheduled with the leader of the Alliance of the Albanians, Zijadin Sela. For tomorrow, a meeting is in plan with the leader of Besa, Bilal Kasami.

“It would be logical, as of next week already, to start discussing the nominating of names from all political parties equally, and certainly this is the first time for SDSM to sit down and discuss all the analyses and surveys, in order to have feedback from all political parties, so that we can make a decision about the candidate that we as a political entity will support”, said Zaev.

He is optimistic that this is the right way to approach such a serious process, as is the election of the State President.

Ivanov’s cabinet ignores new name of the state

All the institutions were supposed to change all the digital records – logos, memoranda, electronic communications, websites, within 3 days, but Ivanov still has the old name “President of the Republic of Macedonia”, and he is putting his signatures on decrees that are published in the Official gazette under this name.

The Secretary General of the Government, Dragi Rashkovski, warned the web administrator of the Cabinet of the President of the State, Gjorge Ivanov, that he will face sanctions if the title of the institution is not changed to “President of the Republic of North Macedonia”.

Skopje among the three most polluted cities in the world

Skopje today is at the very top of the list of cities with extremely high air pollution. The website “Airvisual”, where data is collected from all measuring stations from around the world, shows that our capital city this morning was in the third place according to the presence of dangerous particles in the air. As it is shown in the table, the only cities that are currently more polluted than us are Mumbai in India and Dhaka in Bangladesh.

World Day of Social Justice

CIVIL demands an uncompromising effort for social justice in overcoming the poverty with inclusion, and not marginalization of socially vulnerable categories. CIVIL demands from the institutions and competent bodies responsibility for each individual human life. “Equal society and life for all”, has to become a real commitment, and not an ordinary empty phrase

Amendments to the Law on Social Protection, amendments to the Law on Child Protection, Draft Law on Prevention and Protection Against Discrimination, are still in parliamentary procedure…Higher minimal wages, shelter centers for victims of violence, homes for children without parents, movements in the trade union work, are part of the social reforms that marked 2018 in the Republic of North Macedonia.

Nevertheless, the World Day of Social Justice in Macedonia faces us with the fact that we are a poor country in which social justice is in the last place, regardless of individual government departments that have achieved certain visible results. We were and have remained a country of extremely rich and extremely poor, where citizens are deprived of the basic social rights, if they don’t have money or if they are not protected by party structures, nepotism and clientilism.

Macedonia is not a target of ISIS

Macedonia is not a primary target of attack by the Islamic State, and the MOI had just acted preventively – there was no organized attempt for a terrorist attack, or any specific action, considers retired Colonel Blagoja Markovski, PhD in Military-Political Science and a security analyst in an interview for CIVIL MEDIA.

CIVIL’s announcement for election observers will last until March 6

CIVIL – Center for Freedom announced the date when the online application will close for applying for short-term and long-term observers of the election process. The competition opened on February 14, and will close on March 6 at 5.00 pm.

Those who have already been observers for the organization in the previous election processes do have an advantage, as well as those who have visited the seminars for citizen journalism. Nevertheless, all those who are interested should fill out an application, and a separate committee will make the final selection. One of the rules is that one cannot be an observer for two organizations at the same time. Party activists do not have the right to participate in this call.

The Election Boards are the weakest link of the SEC

“For the behavior of the most important cell in the entire election process, the Election Boards, which, unfortunately, are also our greatest weakness, we, in cooperation with Inkluziva are currently training people who in the following period will train the election boards. But not as they were carried out until now, in one large hall with 1000 people, lasting for 45 minutes, because of which no one could hear or understand anything, rather the trainings will be conducted in groups of 30 participants in a good and well organized manner…in this training, persons from organizations for people with disabilities will be involved, with the purpose for the members of the election boards to understand the needs of these persons”, stated Oliver Derkoski, President of the State Election Commission at the promotion of the monitoring report “Referendum for all” of the Association for Promotion and Development of Inclusive Society” Inkluziva.

М. Ivanovska

photography: Vulnet Mahmuti/CIVIL

translation: N.Cvetkovska


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